Getting hay in india

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Shanan, Mar 29, 2017.

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  1. Mar 29, 2017 #1

    Shanan

    Shanan

    Shanan

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    Hi. I got a brand of hay here. It's Vitapol Vita-Hay. My rabbits are loving it. It's a mix of Alfa Alfa and Chamomile I think (by smell and look). I have two baby rabbits (20 days) whom I feed this hay and mother's milk. And two adult rabbits who feed on a mix of this hay and fresh grass.

    Now, I do not have access to fresh Timothy Hay and dried versions cost a fortune. Recently while researching I got a website where they sell Timothy Hay but without a brand. I decided to try it since many people I know feed that hay to their rabbits. The hay is dried Timothy which I figured out from pictures of Timothy Hay. But my rabbits are not eating it willingly. Especially the adult male I have. He isn't eating any hay. :(

    My question: Is Vitapol a good brand? (I don't have access to any other brands in India) How do I get the male bunny to eat hay?
     
  2. Mar 29, 2017 #2

    JBun

    JBun

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    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    We don't have that brand so I can't say if it is good or not. As long as the hay looks pretty green, smells good, doesn't have harmful weeds in it, doesn't smell sour or musty, doesn't have black or white spots, isn't excessively dusty, and isn't or hasn't been wet at all, then it should be fine and the quality should be ok. If you are in doubt, take a good close up focused picture of it and post it here. Then we could give you our opinions on how it looks to us.

    Getting rabbits to try a new food can be difficult sometimes. If rabbits are getting lots of other food that tastes better than the timothy hay, they may not want to eat it. Rabbits will almost always eat the best tasting food first. Alfalfa tastes better, so does fresh grass, and veggies. So your rabbits are going to want to fill up on those first. Then if they are full they won't be as interested in eating the timothy hay. Plus it's a new food so it may take some time before they even want to try it.

    The alfalfa will be good for the mother rabbit and babies as alfalfa is high in protein and calcium, which growing rabbits and nursing mother rabbits need. As for your male rabbit, he may eventually get used to the timothy and start eating it, but as long as he is eating plenty of fresh grass he doesn't really need dried timothy. Unless you can't always feed lots of fresh grass, then if you are feeding him less of the fresh grass he may start eating more of the dried timothy. But some rabbits can be very stubborn and picky, and it can be difficult to get them to try a new food. It may just take him some time before he decides to give it a try and starts to eat it.

    I have a new rabbit that I'm trying to get him eating timothy hay too. He's used to rabbit pellet food that obviously tastes better to him, and he isn't used to eating hay so doesn't want to eat very much of it. He wants to eat the pellet food first. To get him eating more hay I'm very gradually reducing the pellet food every few days and watching to make sure he is eating more hay instead. When changing a rabbits food, it's important to make sure they are eating the new food(in this case timothy hay) so that they don't just starve themselves when you are trying to change their old food. It will take some time but eventually I will get him eating mostly hay and I'm sure he will decide he likes it just like all of my other rabbits who happily eat their hay.
     
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  3. Mar 29, 2017 #3

    Aki

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    I agree, making a rabbit eat his hay is sometimes a bit like making a child eat his greens... If you give the choice to mine between flowers, fresh grass, herbs and timothy, they won't eat the timothy. And if you give them mixes they will eat the tasty bit first. It's the same problem with pellets when you try to go from a 'junk food' brand with salt / sugar / fat to a healthier brand. Aki is even really particular about her greens (batavia is like a meh... she like pricier greens like lamb's lettuce more and she will definitely eat selectively if you give her the chance). If the hay looks good, insist with the timothy by giving only that at a time when the rabbit is usually hungry (end of the afternoon / early evening is often a good time) and leaving him with it for an hour or so before giving the rest of his food. You'll see if he is just being difficult or if he won't eat it at all. But on the other hand, results vary from one package from another. My rabbits will eat a hay brand no problem one day and refuse to touch it when I open the next package (which looks, smells IDENTICAL to me), except when it comes to Crau hay which is always a hit (and a very pricey one at that, it's the one chefs use in their recipes for humans - I keep it for when I leave for a trip or when the rabbits seem under the weather ^^').
     
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  4. Mar 29, 2017 #4

    Shanan

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    Thank you so much, JBun. Your posts have been always a BIG help to me and my buns. :) I am attaching pictures of the hays I got. The first three are of the Timothy and the last two are of Alfa Alfa. The Timothy contains some amount of dust though. :( I shake off everything as much as possible. The dust is settled at the bottom so it's easy to shake off anything.

    C360_2017-03-29-22-22-28-562.jpg

    C360_2017-03-29-22-22-46-424.jpg

    C360_2017-03-29-22-23-56-216.jpg

    C360_2017-03-29-22-25-16-881.jpg

    C360_2017-03-29-22-25-31-231.jpg
     
  5. Mar 29, 2017 #5

    Shanan

    Shanan

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    Rabbits can be fussy at times :nono
     
  6. Mar 29, 2017 #6
    Those first 3 photos of that brown stuff look totally inedible, looks more like fine straw. I would be using that for compost. That is not good timothy hay. Looks like it was very dead before they cut it.

    Those last 2 photos that you are calling Alfa Alfa, (I'm thinking that's supposed to mean what we call Alfalfa or Lucerne) That looks nothing like Alfalfa. That looks more like Timothy or another grass hay. That stuff looks perfect to feed. It appears much greener, softer, and nicer then the first hay.


    *

    This is what true Alfalfa looks like and you want to avoid this due to high calcium/protein that can cause issues in bunnies that are done growing.

    Note the hard stems and large amount of dried leafy bits. Very different from a grass hay like Timothy/orchard hays and the hays you have the photos of.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Mar 29, 2017 #7

    JBun

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    That first bag doesn't look all that great, but it is probably ok to feed once you shake most of that dust out. It won't be all that nutritious but will still provide the needed fiber, but that's if they will even eat it. If not then maybe you could just use it as bedding for them if you use bedding.

    I agree the second bag looks much nicer, and it doesn't look like alfalfa to me either. And that's ok. As long as they like it and will eat it, that's the important thing. The dad rabbit shouldn't be getting alfalfa hay anyways. If I were you I would just stick with buying the second type of hay, since it is better quality and your rabbits all like it. And don't bother buying any more of the first bag of hay, the timothy hay.
     
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  8. Mar 29, 2017 #8

    Shanan

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    Okay. I won't buy the first one anymore. The second type of hay is a mix of hays and the seller is saying it's Alfa Alfa mostly. I can smell Chamomile more in that. I give them fresh grass mostly. I just wanted some hay for the time when they finish the grass. Yes, I think the second type of hay is what the buns are liking though I fear Alfa Alfa. I think I should stick to the fresh grass diet for the father bun and just a bit of the Alfa Alfa for the mother. The 20 day old babies love nibbling on the "Alfa Alfa" so I give them that :)
     
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  9. Mar 29, 2017 #9

    Shanan

    Shanan

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    I forgot to mention this in the reply to JBun's. The first three photos are taken in low light so it's appearing deep yellow. :p It's pretty much like the second type of hay but yes, it's less green and less soft. I don't think I will buy it anymore. The second type is what I will stick to and fresh grass.
     
  10. Mar 30, 2017 #10

    ladysown

    ladysown

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    if you live in India.. feed the grasses that are normal to your area. You don't have to buy a USA based grass. Just feed them grass/hay from the area that you live in.
     
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  11. Mar 30, 2017 #11

    Shanan

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    I do feed them grass all the time. But some people were insisting that I feed them hay of some sort. So I tried it out. But yes, I also think that fresh grass is the best. Bang on! :D
     
  12. Mar 30, 2017 #12

    ladysown

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    as long as your rabbits are healthy.... ignore what others say. Hay is simply dried grass so if you need to feed hay.. DRY some your grass. :) Simple and easy.
     
  13. Mar 31, 2017 #13
    Hay is grass ;) so yes your rabbit needs access to hay.... or grass all the time. Its the most important part of their diet. Hay is usually just much easier as most people keep their rabbits indoors and going outside to clip some grass is a pain in the butt. As you cannot use the grass that has been cut by a lawnmower as it ferments and spoils too quickly. So reaching into a bag to top up a hay feeder is more convenient.
    They need the long strand fiber.
    (Alfalfa is not grass like most hays are)
     
  14. Feb 11, 2019 #14

    doraanddonut

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    Hello,

    Could you help me from which website i can get timothy and other types of hay for my rabbits in India?

     
  15. Feb 12, 2019 #15

    somebunnylovesme

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    You could use fresh grass to feed your bunnies. Fresh grass has more nutrients. When introducing fresh grass you feeding too much may give your bunny an upset tummy. I was feeding fresh grass from my back yard. Too much was giving my bun a tummy ache because he wasn't use to it. So I had to give him a little bit each day. I was looking at what types of grass grow in India here is the link. You'll have to do more research on what types of grass are safe for buns. I'm not sure what area you live in , but shows that Oat, and barley does grow in India.

    https://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/grass.html
     
  16. Feb 13, 2019 #16

    doraanddonut

    doraanddonut

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    Can i give them barmuda grass which is also known as Druva in local language, Wheat Grass, Rice Crop Grass, Millet Crop?
     
  17. Feb 13, 2019 #17

    somebunnylovesme

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    I've been trying to find more info on Rice Crop Grass but haven't found much. What I've found is rice ( the grain) isn't good for your rabbit. Here is more info on wheat grass https://www.petcha.com/rabbits-wheat-grass-and-hairballs/. People feed millet to their rabbits. If you have farmers in the area that have horses ask them what types of grass they feed to their horses. They maybe able to help you get grass for your bunny.
     
  18. Feb 16, 2019 at 6:18 PM #18

    somebunnylovesme

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    I was doing some research and I was reading up on plantain weed, also know as Ribwort. It grows in the Philippines, You can feed that to your bunny in replacement of hay. Ribwort is high in fiber and my bunny loves it. It promotes a healthy digestive system, it also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

    This is what it looks like:
    upload_2019-2-16_11-16-35.png
     
  19. Feb 16, 2019 at 7:02 PM #19

    JBun

    JBun

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    @somebunnylovesme That is actually greater plantain not ribwort, but still edible and nutritious for buns. Ribwort has much skinnier leaves. It's a favorite of my buns. Though if either is fed fresh, it's usually recommended to cut it into 1 inch strips perpendicular to the leaf, as the stringy part can pose a choking hazard.

    @doraanddonut Bermuda, wheat, rice, and millet grass I believe are all considered safe for rabbits. Bermuda grass/hay would be the more common of those to be fed to rabbits. You would just not want wheat, rice, or millet grass to be too mature with a lot of seed heads as that will have too many carbohydrates in it for a rabbit to be eating. And if it is very young early growth of grass, that can be very rich in nutrients and can sometimes cause digestive problems for some rabbits, so you would also need to be careful feeding an early growth of the grass, by slowly introducing it into the diet starting with small amounts and making sure it doesn't cause runny poop or an upset stomach(lack of appetite). Just make sure it's either fresh and not rotting, or if you dry it to give later you need to make sure it's dried properly so it doesn't develop mold.
     
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  20. Feb 16, 2019 at 10:45 PM #20

    somebunnylovesme

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    I'm not quite sure types of vegetation grows there but I've been looking on line to see. That is the wrong pic that I posted. Its says board leaf plantain. Opps. Hopefully this is the right pic. upload_2019-2-16_15-43-44.png
     

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